Abe: North Korea greatest threat to Japan since WWII

Japan PM Shinzo Abe (File)

Tokyo, Jan 4 : The security situation facing Japan is the “severest since the Second World War”, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, calling the prospect of a nuclear-capable North Korea “absolutely unacceptable”.

File Photo: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

Tensions in the region have remained high in recent months. In September, the North Korean regime carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. Its most recent missile test — during the early hours of November 29 — landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Speaking at a news conference in Mie prefecture, Abe underlined the graveness of the situation by comparing it to the Second World War, a conflict which was finally ended with the dropping of two atom bombs — the precursor to today’s nuclear weapons — on Japanese cities.

“It is not an exaggeration to say the security environment surrounding Japan is at its severest since the war,” he said.

The Japanese Prime Minister urged the international community to apply concerted pressure to the rogue nation in an attempt to coerce its regime into giving up its nuclear ambitions, CNN reported.

“A nuclear armed North Korea is absolutely unacceptable. Without giving in to any provocative action, we must change the North Korea’s policy by maximizing the pressure in complete solidarity with the international community,” he said.

In total, North Korea has fired 23 missiles in 16 tests since February 2017, further perfecting its technology with each launch.

Earlier this year, in the face of an increasingly hostile North Korea, Abe set a deadline of 2020 to revise Japan’s Constitution, that bans the country from maintaining armed forces.

It is a controversial proposal that strikes at the heart of the country’s post-war identity but central to Abe’s political ambitions.

It came one step closer to being realized in October when the conservative leader won a parliamentary supermajority in a general election.

“My immediate task is to deal with North Korea,” Abe told reporters at the time. “It will take tough diplomacy. With the mandate given by the people, I would like to exercise my command in diplomacy.”